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Merritt City Council gets down to serious business right off the top this week.

The City's Deputy Clerk Carole Fraser says the first of two meetings in two days is this afternoon.

Tonight's budget deliberations will be among the last before presentation of the draft budget within the next couple weeks.

Tomorrow's Council meeting at City Hall Council Chambers gets underway at the usual 7 o'clock start time.  Both meetings are open to the general public.

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The Merritt Midget Reps opened the Provincial Tier 3 Championship tournament in Cranbrook with an 8-6 win yesterday over Grand Forks.

The Midgets meet West Vancouver this afternoon at 1:15.

West Van opened with a 10-2 shellacking of Windermere yesterday.

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Three candidates have emerged for the Conservatives in Okanagan-Coquihalla after Saturday's deadline to return pacakges.

Doug Sharpe, President of the Conservative Riding Association says they are Penticton city councillor Dan Albas, Kelowna-area businessman Rudy Ensign, and Penticton real estate agent Marshall Neufeld.

Sharpe says members will have a chance to vote tomorrow in Merritt at the Civic Centre between 12 noon and 2 pm.

The ballot boxes move over to Penticton tomorrow evening where members there will vote.

The candidate to replace retiring Stockwell Day will be announced tomorrow night following the vote.


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Tickets are expected to go on sale today for the Walk of Stars Gala fund raiser set for the end of May.

Walk of Stars President Ron Sanders says the annual event is shaping up well to include Canadian Idol top-ten finalist Tara Oram along with Patricia Conroy and a number of other top Canadian stars, plus other fun events for the weekend like a celebrity golf tournament and special industry night at Iron Mountain Music.

Tickets are $100 and are available at Home Hardware Building Centre, the Merritt News, and at Sanders and Company.

The Gala itself is at the Civic Centre on May 28.

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It's a sign spring is near as the Ministry of Transportation has announced the start of some seasonal load restrictions are now in effect in portions of Southern B-C.

In an information bulletin this morning, the Ministry advises drivers of commercial vehicles that load restrictions are now in place on various provincial routes in Southern British Columbia.

Highways are said to be particularly vulnerable to damage when they begin to thaw, and load restrictions are put in place to reduce that damage.

Drivers of long-haul transports, logging trucks and trucks that carry heavy equipment are required to
reduce loads they would normally carry on a route.

They can also choose alternate roads with no load restrictions, where available.

Drivers should look for white signs posted on the routes advising of seasonal load limits for the area.

Drivers who do not obey seasonal load restrictions are subject to a $365 fine.

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